Sunday, September 25, 2016

Skyfall in South Bend. Or not.

So now we come to the Blob's favorite portion of the program, Holy Crap, Duke?, aka, I Suppose Next We'll Lose To Army, aka The Spirit Of Charlie Weis Just Took The Spirit Of Knute Rockne Two Falls Out Of Three.

In other words, it's the season of angst again in the land of Touchdown Jesus.

Losing at home to a basketball school will do that, not to mention losing to Texas, not to mention getting ball-peened by Michigan State, which itself got ball-peened at home by Wisconsin yesterday. So, the Irish are 1-3 (Thanks, Nevada!). So, they are not a top-ten team after all. So, get your tickets to the St. Petersburg Bowl now, or perhaps the Quick Lane Bowl.

Meanwhile, pop a little corn and settle in for the wailing and gnashing of teeth, which is always entertaining.

Here are the basic themes this morning:

1. The defense is terrible.

2. The defensive coordinator, Brian VanGorder, is terrible.

3. The head coach, Brian Kelly, is terrible.

4. Bring back Charlie Weis.

OK, so nobody's saying No. 4, at least not yet. But the rest is pretty much the gist.

It is also your basic South Bend overreaction, and largely to be expected. Overreaction is a chronic condition at Notre Dame, because it's Notre Dame and expectation chronically exceeds reality. That's because the Irish are chronically overrated, some years more than others. This year that's especially true, because to look at this team and see a top-ten outfit was especially fanciful.

No, the Irish defense isn't very good. Yes, they're getting dominated more than occasionally up front. And, yes, the coaching could be better, particularly from the defensive coordinator position. But the VanGorder defense wasn't exactly the '85 Bears last year, giving up 24 points and 372 yards per game. But the Irish had Sheldon Day and Jaylon Smith dazzling people every Saturday, and they went 10-3  and were in the mix for the four-team playoff until losing by two points at Stanford in their last regular season game. So the grumbling about the defense was not nearly so loud.


Deafening. And there are even calls for the head of Kelly, the only Notre Dame coach in the last 27 years to get Notre Dame to a national championship game.

So ... yeah. The Irish aren't as good as people thought. But look on the bright side.

Army's still on the schedule.

Update: Notre Dame fired VanGorder this afternoon.

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